I bought candy again this year but I don’t really expect any kids to come trick-or-treating in our neighborhood tonight. There were no little witches or goblins last Halloween – or the Halloween before that.
In the 16 years that Sandra and I have lived in the rambling old house at the end of Post Lane, we were visited by trick-or-treaters only once. And the kids were from some far-off neighborhood, transported to our little dead-end street by car.
One reason for the absence of the little monsters may be the ages of folks along our street. My children are all grown up of course. My grandchildren, too. Jonathan and Adam are college graduates with jobs, Adam in Miami and Jonathan on a temporary assignment in Knoxville.
Larry and Mona, our neighbors up the road, are probably in their seventies, and Marvin and Sandy are getting up there, too. Ricky, who lives with his grandmother across the road, is fortyish or fiftyish. His grandmother is in her nineties.
Another neighbor, John, died a few weeks ago, and we haven’t seen his widow, Marge, lately. Their house seems empty. Once in a while, we see young men – probably their grandsons – wandering around over there. I suppose they’re cleaning up or fetching stuff for Marge, who must have moved in with a relative.
There’s one exception, the young couple who moved into the pink house up the road a while back – and promptly painted it gray. They have since had two (or is it three?) children. The kids come rumbling down the road sometimes in their kiddie cars. And we smile and wave at one another.
One Halloween, I asked their dad why he hadn’t brought them trick-or-treating, and he said they had an event at their church.
I suppose that’s what families are doing these days – at least in our part of Central Florida. Going to Halloween “events” instead of wandering the streets.
Meanwhile, I read online that “responsible parents” are handing out carrot sticks instead of candy. If people are actually doing such a bizarre thing, it’s no wonder the kids aren’t trick-or-treating any more.
As for me, I have lots of candy – M&Ms, Almond Joy, Dum-Dums… just in case.